Hotel Fund Furthers $1B Investment Goal with Purchase of Kansas City Marriott

Acting through its discretionary private equity fund Noble Hospitality Fund L.L.C., which allows for $1 billion in purchasing power, Noble Investment Group has acquired the 295-room Kansas City Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo. According to Kansas City property records, DHG Kansas City Inc. was the previous owner of the Kansas City Marriott, which boasts a location in the city’s tony Country Club Plaza District, just outside of downtown. The 19-story tower also features 16,000 square feet of meeting space that includes a 42-seat amphitheater, a restaurant, a business center and a fitness facility. The hotel had been known as the Kansas City Crowne Plaza until 1999 when it was converted to a Marriott. Noble, which will operate the property under a long-term licensing agreement with Marriott International, plans to invest $8.8 million to renovate the hotel. Kansas City is particularly attractive to Noble because it ranks in the country’s top 50 hotel markets. “It is absolutely strong and it has been for a long time,” Adi Bhoopathy, Noble principal & executive vice president, told CPN today. “It’s a market that has been very consistent though cycles and it is only going to get better over time.” With approximately $7 billion in project developments over the last few years and currently in the works, the city’s hotel market is expected to experience further demand, according to a new market intelligence report by global consulting and services organization HVS. The Kansas City Marriott caught the company’s eye, not only for its location in a desirable city, but for its location in an even more desirable submarket. “Country Club is the highest-end submarket it the area, with upscale retail and office at your doorstep,” he said. “It’s like Buckhead in Atlanta; it’s the Buckhead of Kansas City.” Noble’s acquisition of the Kansas City Marriott marks the firm’s 10th acquisition through Noble Hospitality Fund, which closed with $310 million in private equity commitments. Investments through the fund will continue for the next two years, and any of the top U.S. markets are fair game. “We’re focusing on any opportunities across the country that fit our value-add platform,” Bhoopathy noted. Atlanta-based Noble is a sponsor of private equity real estate funds, and also acts as an operating and development firm specializing in value-added investment in hotels and resorts in North America. The company operates over 8,000 hotel and resort guestrooms, as well as convention and conference centers accounting for an aggregate 1 million square feet of meeting space.